Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:09
Says it’s only opinion and wishful thinking of Jomar
The Zamboangueños for the Transformation of Zamboanga (ZTZ) dismissed claim by one of its political opponents that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not include the name of former Zamboanga del Norte Congressman Romeo Jalosjos in the official ballot in next year’s elections and could even declare him as a nuisance candidate.
Atty. Giovanni Luistro, one of the legal counsels of Jalosjos who founded ZTZ, said Jomar Lobregat is only trying to confuse the people and his views are all self-serving.
“It is only the opinion and wishful thinking of Jomar Lobregat. He is not the court,” said Luistro in an exclusive interview yesterday morning at his law office.
Luistro emphasized the Comelec will only declare a candidate as nuisance if the candidate is only making a mockery of the elections process, the candidate is not serious and has no capability of running.
“Jalosjos is seriously going to run and has the capability to finance his campaign. It is very clear Lobregat is muddling the issue and making the people confuse. I do not know what law he is interpreting,” Luistro pointed out.
According to Luistro, the Comelec En Banc has issued resolution No. 9518 stating that candidates cannot be elected into office without complying all the requirements.
“And our candidates will comply with the requirements during the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) such as the gender, age, address, the city of municipality where he is a registered voter or where he will be a registered voter. I presume the Comelec is fully aware where a candidate is ought to be disqualified by reasons of residency, conviction and if he is not a registered voter,” Luistro said.
He said the final decision lies in the hands of the proper court and not merely on the decision of the Election Registration Board.
Luistro disclosed the petitions filed by Lobregat and Congresswoman Isabelle Climaco Salazar requesting Comelec to disallow the voter registration of Jalosjos in District 2 was based on the grounds of R.A. 8991 that his client’s rights of suffrage were never restored when he was convicted of Reclusion Perpetua due to the statutory rape.
Jalosjos legal counsel stressed that all laws should be in reconciliation with each other and should not only govern by the Omnibus Election Code alone.
He further continued that Section 40 of the Local Government Code states that a convicted candidate after serving his sentence can already vote or run after a lapse of two years.
Luistro emphasized the screening process of the Comelc is only ministerial whereby the decision of the court is the final determinant and not the opinion expressed by Lobregat.
Based on records, the ERB gave them until September 21, 2012 to reply on the rejoinder of the petition filed by Lobregat’s legal counsel.
“In our Motion for Reconsideration we asked the ERB to clearly state all the facts on the manner they approved the petitions of Lobregat and Salazar.
How the conclusion came about to our jurisprudence. We also asked the ERB to state their valid dispositive position and other elements with regards to our motion.” Luistro said.
He said if the ERB will give the same answer they will elevate their petition with the Municipal Trial Court then to the Regional Trial Court. “And if these courts will rule in favour of the ERB decision we will file our appeal with the Court of Appeals then to the Supreme Court.”
According to Luistro, there have been many precedents like the Magno case where the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the respondents due to technicalities. “And we are optimistic if Jalosjos wins in the elections, the Supreme Court will vow down to the will of the people,” Luistro declared.
By Nonong Santiago
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